We have some new friends, a family that has lived most of their lives in Texas. Grady, and his wonderful family sensed God was calling them to come to Canada so he could serve on staff at our church, and we have been greatly blessed by this family since their arrival. Almost daily I read about their adventures and sometimes misadventures as they relate to their family and friends on Facebook what their lives are now like in Canada. The first snowfall of the year brought squeals of excitement from all of them as they took pictures and made a snowman and even tried sledding for the first time. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that if they thought that little “skiff” of snow was sled-worthy, they only needed to wait a couple more weeks for the Pacific “clipper” snowstorm to barrel through!…oh, and if the Farmer’s Almanac was right, they could expect to sled all the way through to April!
Sure enough, the “clipper” (meteorological term for: “Get your snow tires on, warm up the snowblower, and get ready to freeze your nostril hairs, because it’s C…c…c…COLD!”) arrived this week. I noticed the comment on Facebook from Grady’s sweet wife as she watched the snow accumulate that it was like being “in the middle of Narnia”.
After living here in Alberta most of my life, I would not describe our winters as “Narnia-like” at all. In fact, I think I have hardened my heart to the beauty of the snow, and have instead complained and grumbled my way through each winter wishing with all my heart that I could escape this frozen wasteland and maybe go live in…Texas!
So when someone forwarded this to me I couldn’t help but laugh. Thought my readers may like a laugh today too. I’ve changed the original somewhat, and put my own personal “spin” on it but the gist is just the same.
Texas or Calgary? Truly it’s all about perspective…enjoy!
Facebook Status: May 30th “Just moved to Texas. Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. Mountains and deserts blended together. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park while lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here!
June 14th: “Really heating up. Got to 100 F today. (That’s 38 C. for my Canadian friends!) Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. Love, love, love this sun!!!
June 3oth: “Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. Spent a small fortune, but worth every penny. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here!
July 10th: “The temperature hasn’t been below 100 F (convert it yourselves Canucks). How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it’s a dry heat. (At least that’s what the locals call it.) Getting used to it is taking longer than I expected.
July 15th: “Fell asleep in the pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body.) Missed two days of work. What a dumb thing to do! I learned my lesson though; got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.
July 20th: “I missed Tabby (our cat) sneaking into the car when I left this morning. By the time I got out to the hot car for lunch, Tabby had swollen up to the size of a shopping bag and exploded all over $2000.00 worth of leather upholstery. I told the kids she ran away. No amount of air fresheners can get rid of the smell though.
July 25th: “Dry heat?! Are you kidding me?! Hot is hot!!! The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the AC repairman charged $200.00 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts. Said they might have them in by next week. I told him I would likely be dead by then. He laughed. I didn’t.
July 30th: “Been sleeping outside by the pool three nights now. We have a 3000 sq. ft. house and we can’t even go inside. Why did I ever come here?
Aug. 4th: “Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $500.00 and gets the temperature down to about 90 F. Stupid repairman peed in my pool. I hate this place!
Aug. 8th: “If another wise guy cracks, “Hot enough for you today?”, I’m going to go ballistic! Driving to work is a nightmare! The radiator keeps boiling over and by the time I get to work, my clothes are soaking wet, and I smell like Roasted Garfield!
Aug. 10th: “The weather man just said we can look forward to more “hot and sunny” days ahead and that it might even “warm up”!! Who is he kidding?!! Water rationing has been in effect all summer, so $1700.00 worth of cactus just dried up and blew into the pool. Even cactus can’t live in this heat!
Aug. 14th: “Temperature got to 123 F (yeah that’s over 50 C) Do Canadian thermometers even register that kind of heat? Forgot to crack the window and blew the windshield out of the Lincoln. An installer came to fix it and said, “Hot enough for you today?” My spouse had to spend $1500.00 to bail me out of jail.
Aug. 30th: “Worst day of the whole stinking summer! I’m not leaving the house. The rain finally came and now it’s not only hotter than Hades, it’s sweat-steaming muggy too! The Lincoln is floating somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico with its new $500.00 windshield. That does it, we’re moving to Calgary!!
Facebook Status – Sept. 15th: “Beautiful drive across Canada! Spectacular scenery! The leaves just starting to change colour. Noticed the harvest starting in the Prairies and almost cried as we rolled into Calgary and saw the majestic Rocky Mountains to the west. What a glorious place!
Sept. 30th: “Went for a drive to Banff. The locals call this “Indian Summer”, it’s 25 C (that’s 77 F for all my American friends…eat your heart out Texans!) Fall colours everywhere. Saw a moose. Decided when we got home to barbeque on our back deck. I love it here!
Oct. 15th: “Temperature dropped a little overnight to about 4 C but then soared to 20 C by mid afternoon. I have started to experience some migraines. Locals say it’s because of barometric pressure. Still it beats Texas heat any day. We invited the neighbours over for a barbeque!
Nov. 8th: “Started to snow tonight. We sat looking out the front window watching the huge snowflakes drift down from heaven. I felt like we were right in the middle of Narnia. I love snow.
Nov. 9th: “Woke up to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the world? Moving here was the best idea I ever had. Shoveled for the first time. I did our driveway and the sidewalks and had energy enough to help out with my neighbour’s sidewalk too! This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got the shovel out again. What a perfect life!
Nov. 15th “Experienced our first Chinook. A warm west wind that blows in and “eats away” all the snow. Really gusty, blew the barbeque off the back deck. It’ll cost $700.00 to replace, guess I’ll wait to get a new one come spring. Sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbour tells me not to worry, we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a good neighbour.
Dec. 12th: “Snow, snow, lovely snow! 20 cm. fell (that’s about 8 inches). The temperature dropped to -20 C (that’s -4 F) The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite so much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get into shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so much.
Dec. 15th: “30 cm. forecast, that’s like a foot of snow!) Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires and 2 extra shovels. Tried a snowblower but it kept bogging down with the drifts. Stocked the freezer. We’re contemplating getting a wood stove in case the electricity goes out again. Can’t imagine that, after all it’s not like we’re in the Arctic, after all.
Dec. 16th: “Ice storm this morning. Fell on my derriere on the ice in the driveway while shoveling and putting down salt. Locals say salt will melt the snow. I’ve put down enough salt now on the drive to fill a Great Lake, and no melting happening. Locals call this “dry cold”. Whaaa?
Dec. 17th: “Still way below freezing. If I hear one more person ask me, “Is it cold enough for you?” I’m going to go ballistic! Roads are way too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off again for 5 hours. I had to pile blankets on to keep warm. Nothing to do but stare at the spouse and not try to irritate one another. I guess I should have bought a wood stove. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.
Dec. 20th: “Electricity’s back on, but had another 36 cm. of the white stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Snowplow came by twice. Bob says I have to shovel my walk or the city will have it done and bill me. Tried to hire the snowplow driver’s kid to shovel, but he said he was too busy playing hockey.
Dec. 22nd: “Bob was right about a white Christmas because 30 more centimeters fell again last night. It’s so cold it probably won’t melt until August. It took me 45 minutes to get dressed so I could go out and shovel and then I had to go to the bathroom. By the time I got undressed, went, and dressed again I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire a guy who has a plow on his truck to help me out, but he said he was too busy. He said he might be able to get to my place sometime next week. I told him I might be dead by then. He laughed. I didn’t.
Dec. 23rd: “Only 5 cm. fell last night! Warmed all the way up to zero! I’ve got a migraine the size of Montreal pounding behind my eyes. Bob said I should take advantage of this warm “snap” to put up my Christmas lights. Is he nuts?!!
Dec. 24th: “10 cm. new snow. Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. I’m sure the snowplow driver gets his kicks by hiding around the corner and waiting for me to finish shoveling and then barreling down the street at 100 miles an hour throwing snow all over where I’ve just been!
Dec. 27th: “30 more centimeters of the cursed stuff fell again last night! Snowed in. The idea of shoveling all day makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! The snowplow driver came by and asked if I would like to make a donation to his kid’s hockey team. I hit him over the head with my shovel.
Dec. 28th: “Still snowed in. Why in the world did I ever move here? Temperature dropped to -40 C (yeah, that’s -40 in fahrenheit too!) (Do American thermometers even register that kind of cold?) All the pipes in the house froze.
Dec. 29th: “25 more centimeters (that’s 10 inches to those of you who even care anymore). Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
Dec. 30th: “It’s -42 C. Choked Bob unconcious with a string of his own Christmas lights when he asked me if it was “Cold enough for you?”
Dec. 31st: “Roof caved in. The snowplow driver is suing me for a million dollars. Bob is suing me for half a million. Another 30 centimeters predicted tonight. Packing up. Leaving shovel behind. Heading back to Texas.”